Freedom Mupanedemo Midlands Correspondent—
PASSENGERS aboard a Gweru-bound Downliner Bus were given a jolt and delayed for nearly three hours in Shurugwi after a woman went beserk as she mourned a python that had been run over by the bus. The woman, Mildred Chapungu, a villager in Shurugwi, allegedly threw herself in front of the bus as she demanded “her snake”. Witnesses said the incident is now the talk of the Shurugwi community.
They said the python was run over last Thursday in Dombwe Village under headman Chivorise.
A witness, Fanuel Mandigo, said Chapungu woke up on Thursday morning and spent hours waiting for the Dawnliner bus that was on its way back to Gweru.
She then signalled the bus to stop as it approached and confronted the driver, demanding her snake back.
“The woman alleged that she found her python dead after it was run over by the Dawnliner bus which was coming from Gweru on Wednesday night.
“She then confronted the bus crew on Thursday morning and demanded to know why the driver had run over her snake,” said Mandigo.
He said when the bus driver tried to drive off after telling Chapungu that they did not kill the snake intentionally, she threw herself in front of the bus and wailed uncontrollably.
“She protested by throwing herself in front of the bus and wept uncontrollably while shouting that she wanted her snake alive. Passengers disembarked from the bus to hear the woman’s amazing story. Chapungu kept on demanding her snake back. She wanted the snake alive,” said Mandigo.
He said the bus crew tried to persuade the woman to allow the bus to leave for close to three hours. Added Mandigo: “She was threatening to commit suicide by throwing herself in front of the moving bus if the crew dared to drive off.
It needed the intervention of other villagers who then came to the scene and persuaded Chapungu to let the bus crew proceed to Gweru.”
The village head, David Nhoro, confirmed the bizarre incident.
He said he would summon Chapungu to his village court to establish the nature of her relationship with the snake. “I heard about the incident from the villagers. I have since instructed Chapungu to visit my court so that she can explain why she was keeping that python. I will also take the matter further to the headman so that she can be charged under the Witchcraft Act,” he said.
Chapungu was not keen to cooperate when Chronicle called her for comment yesterday.
She said: “Who told you about the issue? If it’s my snake (which was killed) how does it affect you?”
Headman Mavorise yesterday said he was yet to receive a formal report on the incident from the village head. “I have been in Shurugwi Town for the past week and will be going to Shurugwi today, you can call me tomorrow because I need to verify the details first,” he said.